Radjabov Also Beats Carlsen, Grabs Sole Lead in Shamkir | Update: VIDEO
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After an excellent day for the local fans Teimour Radjabov is suddenly topping the standings of the Shamkir Chess 2014 tournament's A group. The 27-year-old grandmaster from Baku inflicted the second consecutive loss upon Magnus Carlsen, while co-leader Fabiano Caruana lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Etienne Bacrot maintained his lead in group B with a quick win against Rauf Mamedov.
In a bizarre turn of events, both tournament leaders Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana lost their games in round 5 of the Shamkir Chess tournament. This means the leaderboard has shaken up considerably: at half-time it's one of the Azeri players, Teimour Radjabov, who is in sole lead!
Everyone was wondering how Carlsen would fare after his first loss in nine months, and the answer was: not great. His game with Radjabov became his first series of two losses in a row in three and a half years.
#c24live Carlsen lost 3 in a row, one at the end of the 2010 Olympiad and the first two rounds of Bilbao. His "I'm a model you know" period.— Mark Crowther ( @MarkTWIC) April 24, 2014
Radjabov returned to his beloved King's Indian against the World Champion, who chose the interesting 5.Nge2 variation. “I wasn't exactly sure what's the main line at the moment, but I tried to play in a classical way,” he said.
As early as move 12 Carlsen committed an inaccuracy which allowed Black to equalize. Then the Norwegian took too much risk with taking on f5, misjudging the subsequent complications. His Exchange sacrifice was more or less correct, but certainly not better for White. “To be honest I thought I was doing well here at first, but then I realized I was probably not,” said Carlsen. “I thought there was no way for him to improve his position. But then this …b5 stuff came and I couldn't keep things under control.”
In his opponent's time trouble Carlsen realized that his position was beyond repair. Despite having little time on the clock, Radjabov found the strongest moves and reached a winning ending on move 40.
Teimour Radjabov again showing he's the king of the King's Indian! The local fans must be very happy. #ShamkirChess2014— Gawain Jones ( @GMGawain) April 24, 2014
They were. Radjabov had to wait a minute or two downstairs in the hall for his opponent to come down for the press conference. One security guard, who wouldn't be miscast as the bad guy's assistant in the next James Bond movie, asked him how he had played, and then congratulated the grandmaster.
Carlsen loses again; you can't take so many liberties against Radjabov who, let's not forget, is really rather strong. #ShamkirChess2014— Jonathan Rowson ( @Jonathan_Rowson) April 24, 2014
The World Champion said about his bad form: “Right now I just don't have any energy. My opponents are playing well; they're fighting better than I am. I really need a rest day now to somehow try and regroup because right now it's not working.”
and behind them Henrik Carlsen and Peter Heine Nielsen
Radjabov was obviously happy with his first win against Carlsen in six years. “We played many interesting games. This one is certainly the most memorable in terms of recent results.”
Wonder if Magnus has been feeling invincible for a while. It looks a bit like he's running on confidence rather than inspiration.— Jonathan Tisdall ( @GMjtis) April 24, 2014
By the way, strictly speaking Carlsen could have lost the game much earlier. He appeared about two minutes late for the round, and since there is no mention of special rules for appearing late (such as 30 minutes, or the traditional 60 minutes) in the regulations (in PDF here), the standard FIDE zero-tolerance rule should apply. But common sense prevailed, and Chief Arbiter Faik Gasanov decided to let it be.
Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin drew an interesting game that started with a topical line from the Symmetrical English where Black fianchettoes both his bishops. “I think I walked into some preparation,” said Nakamura at the press conference and Karjakin, sitting right next to him, was smiling expressively. And indeed, while the American grandmaster started pondering at move 14, his opponent only had his first big think at move 22!
But Nakamura didn't get into trouble - on the contrary. Karjakin's nifty way of reaching an ending wasn't actually that good as White was the only one who could play for a win there. Nakamura tried that for a while, but the advantage wasn't big enough.
Nakamura easily reached the top 3 of best quotes thus far with the following: “I've played good chess, I've played bad chess and I've played ugly chess. Frankly I actually wish I could play tomorrow because it would give me a chance to play better chess.”
The other day Sergey Karjakin warned about a likely comeback for Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who also started the Candidates badly but then started winning. And indeed, the tail-ender scored his first point today against Fabiano Caruana, who was very close to a draw.
In an interesting sideline of the Grünfeld, Mamedyarov managed to drag his opponent into unknown territory. Caruana decided to sacrifice a pawn for activity on the queenside, but in the long run his compensation evaporated. With queens and opposite-colored bishops the position was still drawn, but Caruana missed an important idea and then a nice king march by Mamedyarov decided the game.
Etienne Bacrot maintained his lead most comfortably by beating Rauf Mamedov in a mere 26 moves. He described the position after the opening as “an Accelerated Dragon where the move …f5 does't belong“, and so White had a pleasant edge. And then, after a careless 21st move from Black, he could already deliver the decisive blow.
Tomorrow is a rest day for the players. An excursion through Shamkir is scheduled, in the afternoon football will be played and in the evening there is a concert at the players' hotel. The tournament resumes on Saturday for the second half.
Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Pairings & results
|Round 1||20.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 6||26.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 2||21.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 7||27.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 3||22.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 8||28.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 4||23.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 9||29.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 5||24.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 10||30.04.14||13:00 AZST|
Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Round 5 Standings
Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Pairings & results
|Round 1||20.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 2||21.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 3||22.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 4||23.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 5||24.04.14||15:00 CET||Round 6||26.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 7||27.04.14||15:00 CET||Round 8||28.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 9||29.04.14||15:00 AZST|
Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Round 5 Standings
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